There is so much we must keep in mind regarding mosquitos. CRID researchers seized this opportunity to emphasise on what people must know about them.
Dr Emmanuel Elanga, Deputy Head of Medical Entomology Department, CRID
What you must know about mosquito is: “Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world”
Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world. They are carriers of numerous pathogens that are transmitted to humans and animals when a mosquito takes a blood meal on a vertebrate. In mosquitoes, only females are hematophagous. After fertilization of their eggs, female mosquitoes need proteins which they get from the blood of vertebrates such as birds, mammals and humans. It’s during their bite that they transmit pathogens to their hosts. In humans, they can transmit several diseases such as malaria, arboviruses (Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Yellow fever), lymphatic filariasis, etc. To have a blood meal, mosquitoes first need to search for a host. In doing so, female mosquitoes locate their host through the smell or whiff of the host. This is because, when we breathe, we release Carbon dioxide (CO2) and when we perspire, we release lactic acid, odours that attract mosquitoes. However, each person produces a unique smell, which is why mosquito attraction differs from one person to another.
Dr Billy Tene, Head of Communication Department, CRID
“The main control strategy recommended by the World Health Organisation and recognized as the most effective is the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets”
There are several ways to control and/or avoid mosquito bites. The main one recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and recognized as the most effective is the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. This is supplemented by the spraying of insecticides that are effective on specific mosquitoes in a targeted site or zone. Researchers are working tirelessly to produce control tools that are more targeted to certain species of mosquitoes but have the least possible impact on the environment, as it is important to avoid creating more problems in solving another.
These tools include new generation impregnated mosquito nets, the use of transgenic mosquitoes (genetically modified mosquitoes), larval control using chemical (larvicides) or biological elements, etc. However, on a personal level, the use of repellents when going to high-risk areas, the protection of openings in homes with fine mesh grids or the use of essential oils with repellent power in homes are other measures that can help protect us from the bites of these insects. Taking care of your environment by eliminating puddles of water that serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes will reduce their numbers and thus their nuisance.
Dr Cyrille Ndo, Head of Parasitology and Microbiology Department, CRID
“The Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases is resolutely committed to providing scientific expertise in fighting mosquito-borne diseases”
Mosquitoes are perhaps the world’s deadliest animals. They transmit several pathogens which are responsible for human diseases, thus accounting for millions of deaths every year. Some of the most common mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, arboviruses (Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow fever, Zika, West Nile), lymphatic filariasis, etc. The Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases is resolutely committed to providing scientific expertise in fighting mosquito-borne diseases. Scientists are conducting state-of-the-art research to understand mosquito biology and develop tools or approaches to better control diseases they transmit. Main researches are focused on determining mosquito distribution and behaviour, charactering insecticide resistance and mechanisms involved in population of vectors, and unravelling mosquito-parasites interactions. Moreover, CRID is leading projects that aim at promoting partnerships for increasing the impact of vector control activities as well as contributing to capacity building in vector control by training the next generations of Africa Scientists.
Studies have demonstrated that, mosquito vector species are very diversified and vary from one place to another (e.g.: urban vs rural areas, forested vs Sahelian areas, etc). These vectors exhibit different behaviour that influences patterns of disease transmission as well as vector control strategies. For instance, some vector species which mainly bite or rest indoors (endophagic/endophilic) can be controlled by tools such as Long lasting insecticidal treated nets (LLINs) or Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). Furthermore, studies have revealed that, insecticide resistance is now common to almost all vector species and populations. This phenomenon is getting more and more intense, thus jeopardizing vector control programmes using insecticide-based strategies as ascertained by bioassays using tube and cone tests or field trials conducted in experimental huts. Resistance is heaviest for the pyrethroids which is so far the only class of insecticide used in the impregnation of LLINs and is driven by metabolic (cytochrome P450, GSTe2, etc.) and molecular (kdr, Ace-1 mutations) mechanisms. This resistance likely affects mosquito vector competence since (i) high Plasmodium infection rates were observed in resistant vector populations compared to susceptible ones, and (ii) higher Plasmodium parasite loads were observed in resistant mosquitoes, at oocyst level, using experimental infection techniques.